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Ghosts, Zombies, Witches, and crazy people: Revolutionary Halloween Films

Updated on October 24, 2011
28 Days Later  (2002)
28 Days Later (2002) | Source
House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
House of 1000 Corpses (2003) | Source
Scream (1996)
Scream (1996) | Source
Psycho (1960)
Psycho (1960) | Source
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
The Blair Witch Project (1999) | Source

In every genre of film there are those movies that redefine the very essence of how or what the genre consists of and the horror genre is no different. In accordance with my prior hub about suggested Halloween movies 'Headless Horsemen, Masked Killers, and the Paranormal: The Best Halloween Movies for Everyone' i have listed a number of movies that have revolutionized the horror industry and subsequently Halloween movies. The revolutionary films i suggest include The Blair Witch Project, Psycho, Scream, 28 Days Later, and House of 1000 Corpses. All of these films have brought something different to the genre, never seen before, and had a lasting impression on other films in this arena.

The first movie im going to talk about is The Blair Witch Project, which was released in 1999 and grabbed many people's attention. The reason why it was so attention grabbing is the fact that it was different then other films. This film had two things going for it, one it was filmed documentary style and two it blurred the lines between reality and film. Watching this movie, its hard to determined if it truly is lost footage of a hike gone wrong. The fact that the line of reality is blurred makes this film even more scary. Since it was filmed like a documentary would be, there were no special effects, and a lot was left to the audiences imagination. It was as if what you couldn't see on film was the scariest part. This concept was excellent and really redefined what a horror movie could be!

In Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 classic Psycho, the movie industry was introduced to a number of new techniques in filming and plot lines. The infamous shower scene was shocking, alluding to nudity and stabbing but never actually showing either. This scene is considered genius by many and showed how editing and juxtaposition could make a great scene. The film was the first to introduce a new plot line, never seen before, without giving any spoilers, it has to do with characters and a huge surprise! Finally this film was revolutionary because it switched the audiences perspective and empathy for characters a number of ways. For example in one scene near the end of the movie, after a specific murder, the killer tries to hide the body and the car in a small lake. As the car slowly sinks into the muddy waters, it stops for a second and at that moment the audience, as many have claimed, feels sympathetic to the killer, a feeling of almost getting caught! Hitchcock does this so well through out this film, making the audience relate to characters they otherwise wouldn't dare to!

In 1996 Wes Craven creator of the infamous Freddy Kruger in Nightmare on Elm Street came out with a new teen slasher film. This time the movie was simply called Scream. This revitalized the stalled horror industry that had been in a cycle of sequels since the number of teen slasher films of the '80's. However it didn't just revitalize the horror industry, it introduced a whole new way of looking at these films. In a way it was very post modern, in that it referenced its own genre, joking about 'the rules of a horror film' while in fact being a horror film and falling for some of the same situations. This new self deprecating look at the genre incredibly gave it more appeal, while also nurturing to the perspectives of the newer generations who grew up watching horror movies of the '80's and knew all the plot twists. Scream opened the door to acknowledge other horror films within another their own film, preventing a slow suffocation of the genre under a pillow of unacknowledged predictable plot twists.

The next film, 28 Days Later, released in 2002, wasn't a huge money maker but it sure did make its mark. The film is basically a realistic zombie movie that takes place in London and follows a small group of survivors. This wasn't your typical cheesy zombie film, or your over the top action film. This movie was filmed well with great artistic shots, while also enthralling teh audience. The movie can be a little gory at times but then again the dead are walking. I feel like this movie revolutionized the industry because it brought some credibility to the zombie subsection of the horror genre.

Finally the most recent film on my list is from 2003, The House of 1000 Corpses. This film was directed by and starred Rob Zombie and is very intense. It is about an essentric family, to say the least, tied to supernatural beings under their farm and follows a group of young adults who get lost in a rain storm. When i first saw this movie, it was on tv at night and freaked me out!! Seeing many horror films in my life, this one really made an impression. It wasn't because it had amazing special effects but because the characters were so crazy and almost realistic! This film brought a new sense of psychological thriller meets crazy killer. this one is more intense so i only recommend it for people who really want to freak out!


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